Meaningful learning involves students actively learning naturally, and they decide how much of a concept they will learn about and how the set goals will be achieved. The information that is learned in meaningful learning is gotten from theories and other resources like textbooks and is then applied to the real life and world situations. The educators confuse students with concepts and expected results in such a way that the learners are anxious to learn more about it. Students are therefore excited and want to take active participation in learning process. By so doing, learning is effective, and students manipulate objects to learn new things instead of just sitting and without playing an active role while listening to teachers and instructors. The students then observe the outcomes from the manipulations to understand new concepts. Moreover, the students are eager to know how and why the observations did not happen in the way they thought it would. The students learning is goal-directed, and all the activities in the learning process are designed to achieve the goals of the students. Indeed, the students are eager to demonstrate that they accomplished the set goals. This essay is aimed at assessing how student-centered education is promoted and the role educators play in promoting learner-centered education in the 21st century (Huang & Chiu 2015).
How to promote Student-Centered Education
For effective learning and emphasizing student-centered education, the instructor or teacher needs to focus on the kind of assessment employed. Student-centered assessments test questions that are open-ended. This gives learners an opportunity to reflect and synthesize on the concepts and ideas learned. In fact, open-ended questions demand the students access higher thinking orders. For instance, if a lecturer is teaching about velocity, the learners can listen to the lecturer or read the ideas from textbooks. Then they can do tests set in multiple choices. To make it efficient and meaningful, students can be made to engage in an activity like a map run. In the route taken, the students will calculate the velocity using their individualized figures. By so doing, the idea will be well understood through the interactive process (Brown & Knowles 2014).
Create a learning environment that promotes interaction among the learners as well as how the learners operate within that environment. Classrooms that promote student-centered learning are big and spacious to allow for the learners to collaborate. The classrooms are not arranged in rows of desks that face the direction of the teacher. Classrooms are organized to allow the learners to collaborate on projects or in analyzing a particular reading instead of paying attention and listening to the lecturer. In this case therefore, the lecturer or teacher becomes a participant and a co-learner in the discussion. The teacher or lecturer also acts to correct misconceptions without telling the learners what they have to know or do.
In student-centered learning, it is important to honor the students interests and passion. The lecturer can play around with what interests the learners and teach that. For instance, if one is teaching about a certain instrument, many students may not be interested in how the instrument is made or how to make the instrument but on how it works. The students may also be interested in how technology affects the functioning of the instrument. Therefore, for learning to be effective to the learners, the lecturer or teacher needs to understand the students interests, tastes, and passion.
As a lecturer or teacher, it is important to focus on what is essential and important. Some learners are out to drive their lecturers and teachers crazy. They like doing what the opposite is. For instance, a learner reading some material not related to whatever task the lecturer has instructed. In some cases, students fail to complete assignments and homework. The big question is, do learners need to comply or acquire knowledge? The 21st-century era puts more focus and emphasis on critical thinking other than compliance. The lecturers and teachers have to take up more active roles and empower students to actively participate in the learning process. Indeed, the lecturers need to learn from the learners by first empowering them to lead constructive classroom discussions.
Lastly, in creating a learner-centered learning environment, it is important to develop a healthy relationship with your learners. Avoid the simple rules of communicating with your learners online, let the learners not see you smile and never allow them to know that you are not an expert. Develop in your strengths slowly by slowly and sooner than later you will be transforming them into strengths. By so doing, the lecturer or teacher will be able to create a student-centered learning atmosphere.
Role of Educators in Promoting Meaningful, 21st Century Learning
Educators in the 21st century have a critical role to play in providing a learning environment that incorporates learning practices, the human support the physical resources that will fully support the teaching and learning process. Also create an environment that enables the educators to collaborate, share the best teaching and learning practices and be able to integrate and incorporate the 21st-century skills in the classroom practice. An environment that also enables the students and learners to learn real-world concepts and contexts in project-based learning and applied for work. An environment that allows students to access quality learning tools, technologies and other resources in the learning environment. An environment that offers students the 21st-century design where individual, group and team learning is emphasized. It should also offer the learners an opportunity to actively participate both in the community and internationally in learning on the face- to- face basis on online platforms (Ertmer et al., 2014).
The 21st-century educators have realized that the qualities of where learning takes place have a great effect on how learners have to learn. Improving the physical outlook of where learning takes place in a school or learning environment significantly increases the learners outcome in the scores. Educators play a big role in providing an environment that supports and enhances the learning process, that which encourages and promotes creativity and innovation as well as fostering positive human relationships.
21st-century educators are also designing learning for flexibility. This is because technology in education and teaching are evolving and changing at a high rate. This means the learning is designed to adapt or change according to future changes. Educators are designing classrooms with moveable furniture and designing the interior architecture to inspire curiosity among the learners. The classrooms are also designed to promote social interactions among the learners and the lecturers or educators.
In conclusion, it is important to create a learning atmosphere and environment that is learner-centered. By so doing, learners can identify concepts with the help of the educator as opposed to just sitting down and listening to the lecturer. Educators need to create an environment that promotes learner-centered learning. This is possible by ensuring that the educator interacts with the learners and only playing the role of a leader in guided discussions. Lastly, as an educator, teach what interests the learners and the learners have a passion for.
Huang, Y. M., & Chiu, P. S. (2015). The effectiveness of a meaningful learningbased evaluation model for contextaware mobile learning. British Journal of Educational Technology, 46(2), 437-447.
Brown, D. F., & Knowles, T. (2014). What every middle school teacher should know. Heinemann, a division of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.Ertmer, P. A., Ottenbreit-Leftwich, A. T., & Tondeur, J. (2014). Teachers beliefs and uses of technology to support 21st-century teaching and learning. International handbook of research on teacher beliefs, 403.
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